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J Inflamm Res ; 14: 4313-4328, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417005


PURPOSE: This study aimed to understand the pathophysiology of host responses to infections caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)/(COVID-19) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and to identify proteins for patient stratification with different grades of illness severity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Peripheral blood samples from 43 patients with different grades of COVID-19, 7 MERS-CoV patients admitted to the ICU, and 10 healthy subjects were analyzed using label-free quantitative liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). RESULTS: We identified 193 and 91 proteins that differed significantly between COVID-19 and MERS-CoV sample groups, respectively, and 49 overlapped between datasets. Only 10 proteins are diagnostic of asymptomatic cases, 12 are prognostic of recovery from severe illness, and 28 are prognostic of a fatal outcome of COVID-19. These proteins are implicated in virus-specific/related signaling networks. Notable among the top canonical pathways are humoral immunity, inflammation, acute-phase response signaling, liver X receptor/retinoid X receptor (LXR/RXR) activation, coagulation, and the complement system. Furthermore, we confirmed positive viral shedding in 11.76% of 51 additional peripheral blood samples, indicating that caution should be taken to avoid the possible risk of transfusion of infected blood products. CONCLUSION: We identified COVID-19 and MERS-CoV protein panels that have potential as biomarkers and might assist in the prognosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The identified markers further our understanding of COVID-19 disease pathophysiology and may have prognostic or therapeutic potential in predicting or managing host cell responses to human COVID-19 and MERS-CoV infections.